This is fiction. At least it is today. But maybe someday not.
We hadn’t worked it all out in advance. Not by a long shot.
But we had a plan of sorts. Whenever we hit a roadblock, we’d add another piece to the plan. Sometimes we anticipated what would be needed. Sometimes not. But we’d always do whatever was required.
We had no choice — the survival of our climate-damaged Earth and everyone’s children depended on our success.
Anyway, we’d recruited a fairly large and boisterous group of Saners — people committed to ending fossil fuels, defying authorities everywhere and putting climate scientists and young climate activists in charge of a worldwide emergency program to rescue and repair the planet.
But we were kind of stuck. Because our next step was to encourage fossil fuel workers to quit — ideally starting with a few high profile executives, but then followed by a flood of front line workers.
We wanted a shortage of refinery workers and miners — this would be the trigger activity to speed the end of fossil fuels. We would reinforce our message, or more accurately, enforce it, by holding a general strike. A large number of people would stay home until our demand was met.
“We demand an immediate worldwide emergency program, led by climate scientists, to end fossil fuels, end climate abuse and repair the planet.”
We weren’t fooling around. We weren’t fighting for some marginal modest reforms. We wanted an end to the threat and, in the process, we would reform humanity itself.
But no fossil fuel executives resigned. Nobody wanted to go first. No miners walked off the job. Refineries continued operating normally. This was not good.
Yes, fossil fuel executives were smart; they knew they were helping the devil. They knew they were in the wrong. They knew they were dooming their own children. But nobody wanted to go first. I mean, who wants to quit a high paying executive position — even in the oil industry — denounce the industry and end his/her/their career? This would take guts.
Strictly speaking, someone had gone first. A few years earlier, Caroline Dennett, a PR honcho for Shell quit her position, and sent an email to 15,000 employees telling them to “walk away while there’s still time.” She would have no part of the lying, deception and unforgivable climate destruction that Shell and other fossil fuel companies continue to commit.
Nobody followed suit. Dennett was unusually brave. But we had a plan.
We had begun forming a network of co-ops — what we called “Life Co-ops” — to produce ONLY the necessities of life: food, clothing, shelter, medicine. Members put in 20 hours each month and, in return, get all of their basic needs met — even after they retire at 50. The network was already pretty substantial because we signed up thousands of existing co-ops to the group.
We put an ad in the Wall Street Journal:
GOOD NEWS FOR FOSSIL FUEL EXECUTIVES
Tired of the rat race? Of spreading lies for the industry? Of destroying your children’s planet and earning their wrath? Do you hate the person you see in the mirror?
Quit! And we will provide you a humble but adequate safety net.
Now, the offer itself was a bit of a lark — these executives had plenty of money and would easily get by even with zero income. But a few took the bait. Bingo! As a bonus, two of them started a foundation to support our co-op network. That was very useful because we were struggling with housing and medicine.
The media played down the resignations. But at least they reported on them. And, most importantly, a small but noticeable number miners and refinery workers walked off their jobs and joined the Saners.
The tide has turned. We haven’t won yet, but our opponents are softening. Their propagandists have gone into overdrive, but they are firing blanks.
We are on our way. Isn’t it time the YOU joined us?